The Role of Alcohol Policies in Preventing Intimate Partner Violence: A Review of the Literature
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The Role of Alcohol Policies in Preventing Intimate Partner Violence: A Review of the Literature

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  • Alternative Title:
    J Stud Alcohol Drugs
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    This article summarizes existing research on the relationship between alcohol policies and intimate partner violence (IPV). Because alcohol represents an important risk factor for IPV, interventions and policies aimed at decreasing problem drinking may also lead to reductions in IPV.


    Electronic databases were searched to identify relevant peer-reviewed journal articles on alcohol policies and IPV, as well as reference sections of appropriate articles. Only policies that have been studied specifically for impact on IPV were included.


    Three alcohol policy areas (outlet density, hours and days of sale, pricing/taxation) had been studied in relation to IPV outcomes. Research on outlet density had the most consistent findings, with most studies indicating that higher densities of alcohol outlets are associated with higher rates of IPV. Fewer studies had been conducted on pricing policies and policies restricting hours/days of sale, with most studies suggesting no impact on IPV rates.


    Higher density of alcohol outlets appears to be associated with greater rates of IPV. However, there is limited evidence suggesting that alcohol pricing policies and restrictions on hours/days of sale are associated with IPV outcomes. Knowledge about the impact of alcohol-related policies on IPV and violence in general is limited by several significant research gaps. Additional research is needed to assess the impact of alcohol policies on IPV and other forms of violence.

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